Darent Days 10 – Summary
Saturday 10th September 2016 11am EnBro Public Walk
An 8.5 miles linear walk from Sainsbury’s entrance, Crayford. Down the River Cray and Crayford Creek to Dartford Creek then via the Darent Valley Path to the Thames and back to Dartford, (Alternatively 3.5 miles linear walk without visiting confluence with Thames. Separate 4.2 miles walk to the Thames via the Cray Riverway ending at Slade Green Station.).
Saturday 17th September 2016 11am EnBro Public Walk
Repeat of walk on 10th September.
If you prefer a paper copy of the walk as included in the information pack then download and print the pdf.
The walk uses the Darent Valley Path in a number of areas. For more information on this path see the Wikipedia entry:
Meet: 11.00am outside entrance to Sainsbury’s, Roman Way, Crayford (Ordnance Survey map reference TQ515745). (Toilets inside to left; café upstairs open 7am to 8pm Mon-Sat, 9:30am to 3:30pm Sun.)
Bus service 96 from Woolwich via Plumstead, Welling, and Bexleyheath or service 492 from Sidcup station via Foots Cray, Bexley, and Bexleyheath to bus stop ‘D’ Crayford Road (A226), Crayford. Turn right into Roman Way to Sainsbury’s (left).
Southeastern Trains services from Charing Cross or Cannon Street via London Bridge, Lewisham, Hither Green, Sidcup, and Bexley to Crayford (London Travelcard Zone 6). From the northern exit of the station turn right along a footpath for 250m, then left past housing and the library to Sainsbury’s car park where turn left to entrance.
Maps: Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 scale Explorer Sheet 162; 1:50 000 scale Landranger 177; London Cycle Guides 11 and 8.
Outline route: Crayford – Cray Riverway – Barnes Cray – Crayford Creek – Stanham River – Dartford Creek – confluence with the Thames – Dartford Fresh Marshes – Dartford .
Terrain: Level riverside paths, mainly unpaved. Much exposed marshland; protection from sun and wind advised.
Short cut (early finish): Omit the Darent Valley Path from the A206 to the River Thames and back. Continue to Dartford (3.5 miles).
A shorter walk to the Thames (for late start): Unfortunately, there is no public transport access to the Darent Valley Path north of Dartford. An alternative is to take a 428 bus from Crayford to the Thames Road roundabout, follow the London LOOP/Cray Riverway to the Thames, then backtrack and take the link path to Slade Green station (4.2 miles)
Detailed route description: From Sainsbury’s entrance walk half right (NE) to Crayford High Street, cross over and turn left for 100m to Crayford Way (B2186). Cross over to Cray Gardens and follow the river running through it. Cross back over Crayford Way and take the Cray Riverway path, following the left bank of the Cray to Barnes Cray Road, which you follow for 200m.
Turn right at Maiden Lane to cross the Cray and continue for 200m, crossing a bridge over a drainage channel, then coming to the Stanham River flowing out on the left from under the road. Its source is in the marshland to the west. Cross the road with care, return to the Cray, then turn right to follow the footpath beside the right bank of the river to Thames Road (A206). (On the right as you approach Thames Road is the Thames Road Wetland with the Stanham River running across the far side.)
Turn left, crossing the Cray, to reach the roundabout, where you use pedestrian crossings to cross Crayford Way and Thames Road. Turn right along the north side of Thames Road, to cross the Cray again. Opposite the Cray Riverway, turn left along footpath 249 on a road beside the remains of a water mill. The footpath shortly turns right through a kissing gate and then follows the right bank of Crayford Creek NE, then ESE.
After 500m you pass the mouth of the Stanham River on an embankment to the right. At the confluence with the Darent, bear sharp right upstream, then bear right to reach the A206.
(For a short cut, omit the walk to the Thames and back; continue to Dartford station, 3.5 miles.)
Turn sharp left to take the bridge over the river (take care, narrow pavement). Then bear left through a kissing gate onto the Darent Valley Path which follows the winding embankment of Dartford Creek for 2.5 miles to the confluence with the Thames. (Picnic lunch stop at some point. Remains of fortifications near the beginning of the path offer privacy for a comfort break.)
Pass the flood barrier at the end of Dartford Creek, and continue 400m along the shore of the Thames Estuary to a path junction at TQ543779. Here turn right for 100m, then right again to return on a track to the flood barrier. Return by the same route to the A206.
Before the kissing gate, take a path to the right which goes under the road, and emerges on the embankment with Dartford Fresh Marshes on your left. Follow the Darent upstream along the Darent Valley Path for 1500m to the outskirts of Dartford. Turn right to cross the river by a footbridge, then turn left on reaching Lower Hythe Street. Pass the roundabout ahead to Hythe Street; go under the rail bridge and up steps, left, to Dartford station.
For the town centre (shops, pubs) continue along Hythe Street to Spital Street.
Group meal option to celebrate completion of Darent Days at ‘The Flying Boat’ (44 Spital Street, DA9 2DT).
Return: Frequent Southeastern trains services to central London via Sidcup, Lewisham or Greenwich. Change at Lewisham for West Wickham and Hayes; Nunhead for Bromley South via Catford; Hither Green for Orpington.
Dartford is within the Freedom Pass boundary, but one rail stop outside Travelcard Zone 6.
Travelcards and Freedom Passes are accepted on bus service 96 from Dartford to Crayford, Bexleyheath, Welling, Plumstead and Woolwich.